TW, the original, is one of the all-time great golfing legends. And the legend continues to grow, as we all witnessed at Turnberry and even this year at the Masters. That a champion golfer would be asked to produce an instruction video is no surprise and traces its history all the way back to Bobby Jones’ Hollywood golf instruction videos produced in the 1930′s. “Lessons of a Lifetime” was obviously made by very intelligent man who has spent a lot of time thinking about the golf swing. And it takes a certain amount of introspection and humility to admit that despite having won 8 majors, he didn’t completely understand the golf swing until 1994 when he says he discovered “the secret”.
There is a grainy video on YOUTUBE where while at an exhibition obviously conducted for an outing or pro-am, TW tells the audience that he didn’t know how to swing a golf club until 1994. The audience is heard laughing. This guy’s won 8 majors, ha ha, they were thinking. It wasn’t until a few moments later when he elaborated further that they suddenly understood he was quite serious. Let me just say this as an avid golfer used to paying an hourly rate of $100-120 for golf tune-ups: this is the best instruction I have received, probably ever. I didn’t say best video, I said instruction, period, live or on tape.
Take a look at the simplicity of his swing. Compare it to the many videos you can find on the web of Ben Hogan. While they differ in plane–Tom is more upright–both are exemplars of simplicity and efficiency. I have Hogan’s book, Five Lessons. I used to refer to it often. It was trail blazing in its analysis, the new benchmark for golf instruction. I would put TW’s CD’s in the same camp, except his instruction is far far easier to understand.
There’s something cryptic about Hogan’s supination and pronation thesis– gives me a headache frankly, and I’ve been a single digit handicapper for close to 40 years! These are fantastic golf lessons set in a bucolic setting at the Greenbrier. I could go on about how TW’s approach is so much simpler and useful compared to today’s back breaking contortions advocated by the guru’s.
But I will stop here: Tom Watson is 60 and his golf swing still works effectively at the highest levels of golf. Most former golf champions his age, spend their mornings in traction to relieve back pain before going off to do a few small appearances here and there. Tom Watson’s lessons are well worth half the price of one lesson with your local pro. Hogan’s “Five Lessons” is back on the book shelf. I don’t think I’ll be needing it anytime soon
Mac McAdams “Mac”